Faculty Spotlight - Yuanjie (Ed) He

Faculty Spotlight - Yuanjie (Ed) He


Business has been a constant theme in professor Yuanjie (Ed) He’s life. Regardless of being drawn toward multiple subjects, the College of Business Administration’s Technology and Operations Management department chair seems to always surround himself in commerce.

When He began his education, mixing math and business motivated him to enroll at Tianjin University as an engineering economics student. The idea of bringing the gap between engineering and business was appealing. English, the second of his double-major, was a bonus.

 “It was a natural extension,” He said of the decision to focus on the operations management component of businesses. “It requires an extensive knowledge in statistics and mathematics.”

He continued at Tianjin where he’d soon earn a master’s of system engineering. It was on the way to a Ph.D. in operations from Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University where economics, statistics and engineering were all no match for the role of sustainability and risk management in business.

Classic random yield in production is what Ed said lured him toward risk management. Based on the idea any industry -- and especially those like agriculture, high-definition display manufacturing and microchip production -- face countless variables like material quality and geographic location in the production process, He became fascinated with using data to mitigate the problem. His second research concentration stems from a more personal passion.

“Both academia and industry are aware of the changes, but there is no concrete study defining sustainability,” He said. “The advancement in our understanding of climate change and the development in corporate social responsibility over the last two decades needs to continue.”

According to He, sustainability encompasses the triple bottom line: social, environmental and financial sustainability. Interests in sustainability and risk management followed He to Cal Poly Pomona in 2005 when he joined the Technology and Operations Management as an assistant professor.

He has spent more than a decade balancing teaching with the research required to contribute quality articles to publications like International Journal of Production Economics, European Journal of Operation Research and similar periodicals. According to google scholar, Dr. He’s papers have been cited by colleagues more than 350 times since 2011.

With a commute that includes a cross-country flight and a career where the focus is increasing efficiency, excess has no place in He’s life. Maximum use of all available resources is to thank for He’s ability to stay at the forefront of the research community while remaining one of the more popular TOM professors.

“Dr. He does not want to waste time,” a student from his spring 2018 TOM 309 class said. “He fosters a highly-focused classroom environment. But as a result, students retain a lot of fundamentals applicable beyond the world of logistics.”

The 2017-2018 academic year also marked a first: He took the helm of the TOM department as its new chair following Dr. Abolhassan Halati’s retirement. It was a natural progression for a faculty member with a role in developing almost all current TOM and E-Business curriculum.

In his first year atop the TOM department, He accompanied the CBA’s Operations Management Society members to the Netherlands to represent California in the Global Supply Chain Competition World Finals where the team finished fourth. He is also the faculty advisor for the CBA’s student chapter of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional, a nationally-recognized supply chain and logistics organization.

“CPP students are a unique body with mature characters and strong confidence in tackling challenges,” He said. “As a strong believer in the learn-by-doing philosophy, embedding it in all the college’s curriculum and activities is fulfilling.” 

Professor Ed He sitting in the CBA Courtyard